After the 2020 Session was jeopardised by the Covid-19 pandemic, CIGRE has twice had to organise virtual replacement events in 2020 and 2021. The 2020 e-session was attended by more than 2500 delegates, while the Virtual Centennial Session was finally attended by only 1500 delegates.
The previous Session in 2018 had a record attendance of 3800 registered delegates. The disproportion between this last figure and those observed in 2020 and 2021 led CIGRE to conduct a survey among the 2018 delegates who had not come to 2021. The clear result of this survey led CIGRE to believe that it was necessary to focus on the resumption of the face-to-face mode.
The 2022 Session will therefore be a new beginning, essentially physical, but rich in the experiences of the last two years, which have been atypical in many respects. The first lesson is that about a quarter of the delegates who registered for the online Sessions did not plan to travel to Paris to attend the Congress in person. The circle of experts interested in the Sessions has therefore grown, even if the lower price for a 100% online event has undoubtedly been an additional motivation.
The second lesson is that about a third of the delegates who register for a physical Session do so because they are interested in the content of the Session's lectures. The other two thirds come to Paris mainly for informal meetings with their foreign colleagues (networking), or to discover the latest innovations presented at the technical exhibition. The first third, which can be described as the group of enthusiasts, is the one that remained faithful to CIGRE during the two online events of 2020 and 2021.
The 2022 Session will therefore be mainly physical, with some features retained from the 2020 and 2021 experiments.
The CIGRE TV initiative will be renewed, with information on the different events of the Session, interviews with CIGRE personalities and sponsors of the Session.
Live streaming of the main technical events in five parallel rooms will be set up to provide the same experience for delegates whether they are on site or at a distance. The only two restrictions for remote delegates will be the inability to submit contributions in response to Special Reports, and the inability to participate in poster sessions as an author or visitor.
Finally, the replay of the video and audio recordings of all the events of the technical programme will be open to all delegates in person or remotely.
The level of registrations at the end of May 2022 is rather encouraging, with 1840 registrations by 15 May, the deadline for the first preferential tariff. It is interesting to note that the number of registrations before this deadline is higher than the number of registrations in 2018 at the deadline for the first preferential tariff, which was 30 April.
When one notes that in previous Sessions from 2010 to 2018 the final number of registrations is between 1.7 and 2.5 times the number of registrations at the end of the first preferential rate, one can venture to predict a number of registrations above 3000 and possibly even above the 3800 of 2018, which would constitute a new record.
All the other indicators of this Session are already beating previous records. Thus the number of papers finally retained, after a selection based on the evaluation of the full papers, is over 800, even though more than 1000 synopsis proposals had been submitted by the National Committees.
In the record books, the technical exhibition should not be left behind, with more space reserved by exhibitors than in 2018, despite the cancellations of exhibitors from regions of the world still affected by the pandemic or by the consequences of the war in Ukraine.
The exhibition will host for the first time a dedicated space to give a voice to start-ups in the electrical systems sector, with the possibility for registered start-ups to present their activities in pitch sessions.
The sponsorship offer open to exhibitors will also be extended, offering new opportunities to communicate on their products through interviews on CIGRE TV, and advertising spots during the breaks of the technical conferences.
CIGRE intends to return to social events designed to promote and facilitate networking, with the Sunday cocktail party after the opening ceremony, and the unmissable CIGRE Soirée, which will take place this year at the Musée des Arts Forains de Paris-Bercy next to the Gare de Lyon.
Some repeat delegates will remember that this well-known Paris venue hosted several Session Soirées in the 2000s until 2010.
So why not a new record participation in 2022! It depends on you.
The entire Central Office team looks forward to seeing you in Paris from 28 August to 2 September.
If you would like to a part of what is looking like a record event please follow this link ↓REGISTER HERE